Martin Wilkie, a soldier with the local army regiment, is found dead in a pig shed on the wedding day of one of his closest colleagues. Pascoe is immediately taken off the case, as with it being his hometown, and also having known most of the witnesses – and even the prime suspect – Dalziel is forced to play it by the book. Meanwhile, a hospital appointment has Dalziel running scared, so much he can't even admit to Wieldy that there's something wrong. As the murders continue to rack up, including the bride and groom, and a local immigrant who escaped capture from immigration control, Dalziel uses the clues to work out just who is responsible for the deaths of four people. And Pascoe is forced to choose between his childhood crush and his father, when she turns out to be the killer - and his father the next possible victim. And then, things get worse when Dalziel has a heart attack.